Commonwealth Journal

Local News

November 29, 2013

From Cruisin' to Cuisine

Somernites Marketing Coordinator Brenda Russell looking forward to challenges at God’s Food Pantry

Somerset —

Walking into the South Central Avenue location of God’s Food Pantry en route to Brenda Russell’s office, one passes by a packed lobby of Pulaski Countians , waiting their turn to secure a little extra food for this cold time of year.
It could be enough to overwhelm a person. Yet, when greeted in her office, Russell’s smile is as big as the Pantry’s food storage warehouse, as warm as the weather is chilled.
A perfect fit for her new job — and she knows it.
Russell is the new executive director of God’s Food Pantry, succeeding Jack Keeney, who resigned from the position last month.
Keeney’s retirement takes effect at the end of 2013, meaning he’s staying on through what is likely the Pantry’s busiest time of year to help Russell get her feet wet — or to “keep me from drowning,” as Russell put it, noting the swell of Pantry activity around the holidays.
It’s a challenge Russell embraces whole-heartedly, however. On November 18, she was contacted about her interest in taking over operations of the Pantry from Keeney. It didn’t take her long to give her answer.
“I was absolutely ready to be here,” said Russell. “I really feel this is a blessing for me.
“I knew I was going to have to do something besides Somernites Cruise — I’ve got one (child) going to college — and about the time I decided I needed something, this job became available. I can’t even tell you what a blessing it is.”
Russell has worked as marketing coordinator for the Cruise, Somerset’s popular classic car showcase, for the last 10 years. In that job, she’s held multiple roles, promoting events as well as taking care of day-to-day activities. 
Formerly in real estate, Russell came to Somerset from Wisconsin because of her husband Brian, a native of the area. The two have three children together — Breanna, 17, and Brooke, 16, students at Southwestern High School, and Bryce, 13, at Southern Middle School.

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